New podcast exploring intersectionality of disability, race and policing set to premiere Feb. 4

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina ETV (SCETV) and Public Radio (SC Public Radio) today announced plans to launch a new podcast called De-escalating Disability. With the first of four episodes premiering on Thursday, February 4, the network will publish a new episode each subsequent Thursday through the end of February.

Hosted by Gavin Jackson, De-escalating Disability aims to explore the intersectionality of race, policing and disability – specifically, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The podcast will include audio from incidents that have taken place both here in South Carolina and around the country, involving members of law enforcement and individuals with ASD. It will also feature interviews with police officers, legal professionals and other subject matter experts, breaking down the myths surrounding ASD and examining what police may or may not be doing when responding to those with disabilities. 

A collaborative effort, the idea for De-escalating Disability actually originated out of the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative last year. Jackson, a participant in the initiative’s Midlands Class XIII, worked with his peers in Group One, which included Family Connection of South Carolina Chief Executive Director Amy Holbert, to brainstorm and outline the project.

To access the first episode of De-escalating Disability when it debuts this Thursday, visit All four episodes will also be made available wherever podcasts are typically be downloaded. 


“An important part of our mission in public media is to cultivate and lead discussions on critical issues impacting our state and its communities. Exploring the intersectionality of race, policing and disability, this new podcast perfectly aligns with those efforts, and I look forward to hearing thoughtful conversation on such significant issues.” –SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative. Following that rewarding and educational experience, the only logical next step was to use the platforms available to us to make a positive impact. Our hope is that this podcast will do just that by exposing injustices, opening eyes and promoting empathy.” –SCETV Public Affairs Reporter Gavin Jackson

“Our Diversity Leaders Initiative offers a trusted forum for leaders to engage in a productive dialogue about complex and sensitive issues. We’re grateful to Gavin Jackson and other graduates of our Midlands Class XIII who are advancing these important and timely conversations in the broader community. When we understand and embrace our differences, we’re able to achieve better outcomes for all.” –Riley Institute Executive Director Dr. Donald Gordon

“It was a privilege to take part in the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative and in this community action project. We hope this project will bring together more community-focused perspectives and dialog around the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals, including those with disabilities, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” –Family Connection of South Carolina CEO Amy Holbert


  • SCETV and SC Public Radio are launching a new podcast, titled De-escalating Disability, on Thursday, February 4.
  • Hosted by Gavin Jackson, new episodes of the four-part series will be published each Thursday.
  • De-escalating Disability aims to explore the intersectionality of race, policing and disability – specifically, ASD.
  • The idea for De-escalating Disability actually originated out of a Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative community action project last year.
  • As they are released, new episodes of the podcast will be published on, as well as wherever podcasts are typically downloaded.